Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Get "Free" Books with Bookmooch

I am always on the lookout for new books for my students to read in class as well as recreationally (I’ve also had success running SSR – silent sustained reading). The bookshelf in my room is home to our class library of books, and judging by the mangled bindings on some of them it is clear which are the favorites. Granted, there are others that have never been opened. I’ve struggled with this – how can I afford to replace the popular books and cycle out those that go untouched? Despite what many people in Wisconsin think, my modest teacher salary doesn’t quite support a bottomless well of extra cash for piles of new books.

I was thinking about this recently, and I remembered a website I found several years back. I took a look, and thankfully the service – and my account – was still active.

Bookmooch is a online book-trading community. Users create an inventory of books that they own but would like to get rid of. When someone requests a book from the inventory, the user sends it and then receives a credit so that he/she can request a book from someone else. Users can also create wishlists of titles if they are not currently in the Bookmooch system. If a wishlisted book gets added to an inventory, a notification email is sent out so that book can be “mooched.”

The whole process is amazingly simple. Bookmooch relies on ISBN numbers and is tied in with so it is easy to search and find books that are of interest. Also, books can be sent as media mail, and only costs a few bucks (I sent two books yesterday to Florida, and was only charged $2.77!).

Bookmooch is a great way to rotate your class library collection without spending a fortune on books.
Credits are received and spent with each mooched book.
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